Baby powder is also known as talcum powder, when it consists primarily of talcum/talc. Talc has an eerie similarity with absestos which has the potential to be carcinogenic. Because of this, there are rules which limit the amount of fibers, like the ones present in asbestos, present in talcum powder. Many argue that talcum powder should not be used at all. This is because of a study conducted during the last decade which reported that talc caused tumerous growth in the test animals, even when it was used without any fibers (the absestos like ones which are carcinogenic in nature).
Another study found a link between the usage of talc in the female genital area and the occurrence of ovarian cancer. According to that study, there was a direct link between these two. The same study reports that talcum particles move through the body’s reproductive system, and will settle down somewhere near the ovary linings. Yet another reason that talc is considered harmful is that it is harmful to the lungs. The proof for this is the high occurrence of lung cancer among the miners who mine talc. Kids are also at high risk of developing lung infections, as a result of ingesting talcum powder.
So, in conclusion: yes, talcum powder does prevent diaper rashes, and it does have many cosmetic uses. But, when baby powder is composed mainly of talc, the risks outweigh the benefits, according to many studies. So, it may be prudent to minimize the usage of talcum powder, especially for small babies!
Talcum powder consists of finely ground magnesium silicate. Zinc and magnesium stearate may be present as well.Â Nowadays, talc is found in a lot of consumer products. Many varieties of baby powders still contain talc as their principal ingredient.
Scientists have found striking similarities between talc particles and asbestos. In 1993, a National Toxicology Program report found that talc, without any asbestos, caused tumors in animals. Testing has not been done with humans. So, cosmetic grade talc is still not regulated by the government.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers non-asbestiform talc, that is talc which does not contain potentially carcinogenic asbestiform amphibole fibers, to be Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use in cosmetics. Scientists are still researching the link between talc and ovarian cancer. This is because women apply talc in their groin area. No conclusive report has been prepared by anyone, and the link still has not been established.
As of now, there is no hard evidence to suggest that talcum powder causes cancer in babies. However, if the baby inhales talcum powder, that is definitely dangerous. If you want to be on the safe side of things, use baby powders which are based on non-talcum ingredients, like corn starch.
Baby powder is usually a mixture of talcum, corn starch and perfumes. The composition will differ based on the type of baby powder.
There are purely talcum based baby powders, and there are pure corn starch based baby powders. For those who are interested in the chemical composition
of talcum, the formula may be either Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 or 3MgO.4SiO2.HOH, depending on the type of ingredients used. Does it really matter? I guess at least a few of you want to know what you have been putting on your baby’s bottom. Well, at least, it won’t harm you!
Yes, it is true, there is something known as baby powder addiction! Some people are addicted to baby powder, and they eat it. There are people who say they have been eating it for 30 years, since the age of three. The level of addiction differs. Some people need it daily, while some only need it once in a while. Some others don’t have a problem – they forget about it, until they happen to see it somewhere.
Here is one addict’s confession:
“I, am addicted to baby powder. I have eaten it since I
was old enough to hold the bottle. I tried to stop a lot,
but the problem is that again, when I see it, I cannot
resist. I love the texture of it.”
This addiction to baby powder is said to be because of a mineral deficiency. Whatever the reason, there are some people who will go crazy at the sight of baby powders – who would have thought?
More than anything else, almost every addict is curious to know the effect it will cause to their health. No authoritative studies have been done so far, but, based on available data, it is said that is you have asthma, you are better off not tasting baby powder, because it may cause your astham symptoms to worsen.
Baby powders in one form or another have been around throughout the history of man.Â Talc, was said to be used in the bath houses of the Roman Empire and Egypt.Â The modern form of baby powder can be traced back to the 1890â€™s and the Johnson and Johnson company.
Baby powder usually comes in three basic forms:
Scented talcum powder: often used by adults to assist in keeping dry and smelling nice.
Corn starch: the safest powder for use on babies.Â Powder that is a simple corn starch with no added scents or other chemicals is the best powder to use on your babies bum.
Medicated powder: often used for rashes or foot problems.Â Medicated powders come in a variety of forms and have been around a very long time.
Baby powder is usually used to assist in keeping a baby dry when wearing a diaper.Â Using baby powder was more popular when diapers were all cloth and did not absorb moisture very well.
Today, diapers are very efficient at absorbing moisture and using powder has become more a choice than a necessity.Â Everyone has early child hood memories of that nice cool feeling of baby powder.Â Here are some things to remember about using baby powder:
Girls and powder:Â There is a tremendous debate by pediatricians today about using talc based powders on baby girls.Â It is believed by many that the talc can get into the blood stream and cause damage later in life.Â This has not been proven but there are many talc free powders.Â Better safe than sorry.Â Use a talc free powder on all babies.
Be frugal:Â be careful when applying baby powder to your child.Â Do not let clouds of powder form and your baby inhale this dust from the powder.Â Breathing this powder dust is not advised period.
Donâ€™t overdo it:Â apply just enough powder to do the job.Â Too much powder is actually a bad thing.Â Moisture can collect and crust and if left too long can cause a problem.
Also remember to keep the baby powder out of reach of little ones prying hands.Â Baby powder is a great product.Â Baby powder is also used by adults in many applications.Â Try using some baby powder on your sheets on a hot summer night.Â Baby powder is a safe product that can enhance your babyâ€™s life.